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ITP vs. TTP — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 24, 2024
ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) is a bleeding disorder due to low platelet count, while TTP (Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) involves blood clots and platelet consumption.
ITP vs. TTP — What's the Difference?

Difference Between ITP and TTP


Key Differences

ITP, or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, is a condition characterized by an abnormally low level of platelets, leading to easy bruising and bleeding. TTP, or Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, is a rarer disorder where small blood clots form in blood vessels, using up platelets and leading to a similar low platelet count.
The cause of ITP is often unknown, hence 'idiopathic,' and it is thought to be an immune response gone awry. In contrast, TTP is caused by a deficiency of an enzyme called ADAMTS13, leading to abnormal blood clot formation.
Symptoms of ITP can include excessive bruising, bleeding, and petechiae (small red spots under the skin). TTP symptoms are more severe, including the above plus fever, kidney malfunction, and neurological symptoms like confusion.
Treatment for ITP often involves steroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy in chronic cases. TTP requires urgent treatment with plasma exchange and immunosuppressive medications.
ITP can affect individuals of any age but is more common in children and adults over 60. TTP, while rare, can be life-threatening and often requires immediate medical attention.

Comparison Chart

Primary Concern

Low platelet count due to immune dysfunction
Blood clots in vessels, leading to platelet consumption


Often unknown, immune-related
Deficiency of ADAMTS13 enzyme

Common Symptoms

Bruising, bleeding, petechiae
Bruising, bleeding, petechiae, fever, neurological issues


Steroids, immunoglobulins, splenectomy
Plasma exchange, immunosuppressives

Typical Onset

Any age, common in children and older adults
Can occur at any age, requires urgent attention

Compare with Definitions


Often idiopathic with an immune system-related cause.
The cause of his ITP was unknown, suggesting an autoimmune origin.


A rare disorder with blood clots in small vessels.
TTP was suspected due to her symptoms of blood clots and low platelets.


A bleeding disorder characterized by low platelet count.
After being diagnosed with ITP, she noticed increased bruising.


Caused by a deficiency of the ADAMTS13 enzyme.
Her TTP was linked to a severe deficiency in the ADAMTS13 enzyme.


More common in children and adults over 60.
ITP is often diagnosed in children presenting with unusual bleeding.


Symptoms include fever, neurological issues, and kidney problems.
He showed signs of TTP, including confusion and fever.


Can manifest as excessive bruising and bleeding.
Excessive bruising led to the diagnosis of ITP.


Requires urgent treatment like plasma exchange.
She was immediately treated with plasma exchange for TTP.


Treatable with steroids or immunoglobulins.
Her ITP improved after starting steroid therapy.


Can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
Due to the severity of TTP, he was quickly hospitalized.

Common Curiosities

What does TTP stand for?

TTP stands for Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

How is TTP different from ITP?

TTP involves blood clot formation in small vessels, consuming platelets, while ITP is characterized by immune-mediated destruction or decreased production of platelets.

What are common symptoms of ITP?

Common symptoms of ITP include easy bruising, bleeding gums, and petechiae.

Are there any long-term effects of TTP?

TTP can have long-term effects, including neurological issues and kidney damage, if not treated promptly.

Are both ITP and TTP autoimmune disorders?

ITP is often considered an autoimmune disorder, while TTP is related to a specific enzyme deficiency and is not typically classified as autoimmune.

What triggers TTP?

TTP is often triggered by a deficiency in the ADAMTS13 enzyme, leading to abnormal blood clot formation.

Is the cause of ITP always known?

No, the cause of ITP is often idiopathic, meaning it is unknown.

What does ITP stand for?

ITP stands for Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

What is the main characteristic of ITP?

The main characteristic of ITP is a low platelet count leading to bleeding and bruising.

How is TTP treated?

TTP is treated with plasma exchange and immunosuppressive medications.

What is the treatment for ITP?

Treatments for ITP may include steroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy in chronic cases.

Can ITP and TTP be cured?

While ITP can often be managed effectively with treatment, it may not be completely curable. TTP requires immediate treatment and can be controlled, but the underlying propensity may remain.

Can children be affected by ITP?

Yes, ITP can affect children, often manifesting as sudden bruising and bleeding.

Is TTP a life-threatening condition?

Yes, TTP can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Can ITP lead to severe bleeding?

Yes, ITP can lead to severe bleeding due to the significantly reduced platelet count.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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